Super Bowl 2012: Which Giants Receiver Will Have the Biggest Impact?

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IJanuary 30, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22:  (L-R) Mario Manningham #82, Hakeem Nicks #88 and Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants walk back ot the sideline in the fourth quarter after Manningham scored a 17-yard touchdown against the af during the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on January 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

If the New York Giants are going to have any chance of beating the New England Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl, they are going to need some big performances from their wide receivers.

Fortunately, the Giants have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, featuring Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham. All of these guys have good hands and know how to get open.

And, in a bit of good news for New York fans, the Patriots have one of the worst secondaries in NFL history.

In fact, the New England defense often has Julian Edelman, a wide receiver, playing cornerback. That’s not a good sign for a Super-Bowl-bound team.

So, which of the Giants’ receivers is going to need to have the biggest impact in the Super Bowl if the Giants are going to once again pull off an upset against New England?

The answer is Victor Cruz.

Cruz has been having an outstanding season, finishing second in the NFC in both receiving yards and touchdowns. He’s been finding ways to get open all over the field and has morphed into Eli Manning’s favorite target.

Nicks is more of a deep-threat receiver and Manningham is more of a third option at most times.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22:  Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants makes  a catch in the first half against Carlos Rogers #22 and Dashon Goldson #38 of the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on January 22, 2012 i
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

But Cruz can do everything, whether it’s getting open in the middle of the field or blowing by a safety for a deep touchdown.

His versatility in replacing Steve Smith is a huge reason the Giants are in the position they are in right now. And, as good as he was in the regular season, he’s been even better in the playoffs.

After a slow start against Atlanta, Cruz has really picked it up. Against Green Bay, he had five catches for 74 yards. And against San Francisco, he had a whopping 10 catches for 142 yards.

He has yet to reach the end zone in the playoffs, something he’ll need to do if he’s going to help his team win the Super Bowl.

In order to win this game, Cruz is going to need to have around eight catches, 100 yards and a touchdown or two. And, as bad as the New England defense has been this season, there’s no reason Cruz can’t reach those totals quite easily.